1 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh —an inspired utterance. ¶ This man's utterance to Ithiel: ¶ "I am weary, God, ¶ but I can prevail. [^1]
2 Surely I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding.
3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? ¶ Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? ¶ Who has established all the ends of the earth? ¶ What is his name, and what is the name of his son? ¶ Surely you know!
5 "Every word of God is flawless; ¶ he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
7 "Two things I ask of you, LORD; ¶ do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, ¶ but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' ¶ Or I may become poor and steal, ¶ and so dishonor the name of my God.
10 "Do not slander a servant to their master, ¶ or they will curse you, and you will pay for it.
11 "There are those who curse their fathers ¶ and do not bless their mothers;
12 those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
13 those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful;
14 those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives ¶ to devour the poor from the earth ¶ and the needy from among mankind.
15 "The leech has two daughters. ¶ 'Give! Give!' they cry. ¶ "There are three things that are never satisfied, ¶ four that never say, 'Enough!':
16 the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, ¶ and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'
17 "The eye that mocks a father, ¶ that scorns an aged mother, ¶ will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, ¶ will be eaten by the vultures.
18 "There are three things that are too amazing for me, ¶ four that I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, ¶ the way of a ship on the high seas, ¶ and the way of a man with a young woman.
20 "This is the way of an adulterous woman: ¶ She eats and wipes her mouth ¶ and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.'
21 "Under three things the earth trembles, ¶ under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king, a godless fool who gets plenty to eat,
23 a contemptible woman who gets married, and a servant who displaces her mistress.
24 "Four things on earth are small, ¶ yet they are extremely wise:
25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;
26 hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags;
27 locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;
28 a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings' palaces.
29 "There are three things that are stately in their stride, ¶ four that move with stately bearing:
30 a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing;
31 a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king secure against revolt. [^2]
32 "If you play the fool and exalt yourself, ¶ or if you plan evil, ¶ clap your hand over your mouth!
33 For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, ¶ so stirring up anger produces strife."